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At Designintent, our process is iterative, exploratory, constantly improving, and comprehensive. It is a response to both the client’s vision as the end user, and of the latest sustainable products available to enhance the project.


Delving into the design process is done through a series of sketches, diagrams, 3D SketchUp models and image boards. Our multi-pronged approach allows for a full exploration and for creative outcomes. We listen carefully to our client’s challenges, both as end-user and as sponsor - to their budgetary challenges. Sometimes the solution requires bridging the gap between designer and contractor early on, or adding new suppliers who have the right product.


This philosophy of including the client in the design process was engrained in Ruhina while at grad school where her thesis was on user-preferences and design. This sustainable approach leads to her work being well cared for and enjoyed fully by the user / owner. This post-modern philosophy has been her mainstay, whether it is residential or commercial work. 

After graduating with an engineering degree, Ruhina started her career in the design world working at Oikos, Landscape Architects and Ecological Planners. Her first job was a five-acre residence in Kerala, a south Indian state known for its lush backwaters and beautiful beaches. This project, along with several campus plans in the Silicon Valley of India, gave her the impetus to apply to graduate school in the US. While at Oikos, she also worked with architects from Germany, who inspired her to apply for an internship in Germany. This trip opened her mind to Bauhaus architecture and historic gardens at a grand scale. She traveled extensively in Germany and France, visiting palace gardens, urban squares, and botanic parks, which have influenced her work greatly.

After three years at graduate school where she studied Landscape Architecture and City & Regional Planning, she moved to Houston, TX. She worked at SWA Group, on streetscapes, and urban parks / community colleges. This gave her a background in taking a project from concept to construction and led to her next job working on managing projects for a bio-medical lab. DSL-Beckman Coulter was a vast step forward in interior / exterior construction and her work included selecting an architect for a multi-million-dollar home, as owner’s representative. This involved several years of on-site construction supervision, while design was ongoing on the fast-track job. Working across from landscape architect Peter Walker, and architect Juan Miro were memorable moments of her career.

In 2010 Ruhina started DesignIntent. The meaning of Design Intent was derived from a BBC program on Architecture which she enjoyed watching with her mom. DesignIntent, is defined as:

"A detailed technical description of the ideas, concepts, and criteria defined by the building owner to be important. It should include the functional and environmental needs of the facility. The design intent is developed by the design team from descriptions provided by the building owner."




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